Family & Lifestyle

7 ways to save money by improving the energy efficiency of your home

For many of us, energy bills are an expense which only seems to increase. However, there are some simple, cost-effective steps that can be taken to help reduce the money spent on your energy bills, whilst also doing your bit for the environment.

1. Insulation

Investing in insulation, particularly in your roof cavity or loft, can be an effective way to ensure your home stays at a temperature that is comfortable all year round. Good loft and ceiling insulation can slow down the flow of heat leaving the house in winter, and entering the house in summer, by up to 35%.

Similarly, wall cavity insulation can improve your heat losses and gains (depending on the season) by up to 25%.

2. Light bulbs

Switching from traditional bulbs to LED lights can be an easy way to save money. LED lights use less energy than traditional bulbs and energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL).

LED lights also last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, saving you money on replacements in the long run, and only use between one third and a 30th of the energy that traditional or CFL bulbs use.

3. Consider solar panels

Australia is one of the top 10 sunniest countries in the world, so it’s no surprise that Australians are taking advantage of the sun and are having more and more solar panels installed.

Solar panels work by capturing the sun's energy and storing this generated power in batteries when it’s not being used. That means you will still be able to warm your house and use electricity on a cloudy day.

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4. Draught-proof your home

Both warm and cold air can find a way to sneak out even in a well-insulated home.

The most common places where draughts occur in the home are:

  • Gaps around doors & windows
  • Chimneys & exhaust fans
  • Corners of walls and ceilings where cracks often occur
  • Gaps between walls and skirting boards
  • Skylights
  • Air conditioning and heating units

There are a number of ways you can check for draughts in the home, and doing so could help you identify a problem where you’re leaking both air and money.

5. Double glazing

Adding another layer of glass to your window doesn’t necessarily sound like it would be a super-efficient method of energy saving, but surprisingly it can cut your heat loss as well as providing another couple of other benefits:

  • Double glazing reduces noise pollution
  • Condensation on your window

Here are some other suggestions to improving the energy-efficiency of your home’s windows.

6. Switch to a cheaper energy plan

If you’ve made all of the above improvements but still find that your energy bills are too expensive, it’s probably best to speak to your energy provider and ask them if they can change your tariff or offer any more advice on energy efficiency and saving money.

It doesn’t hurt to shop around and keep your options open to see what other energy plans are available to you, and a switch in energy provider might be your best option.

7. Be energy conscious

Appliances and white goods with higher energy efficiency ratings generally are most cost-effective per use, so assessing the running costs of each of your appliances against the cost of buying a new appliance and the potential savings may also reap some financial rewards.

Additional tips to keep your energy bill low:

  • Make the most of natural sunlight wherever possible
  • Avoid boiling a whole kettle of water if you don’t need a kettle full of boiling water
  • Use the microwave instead of the oven for quick reheats
  • Turning the lights off in a room that’s not in use
  • Plant trees to create shade around your home, especially in front of windows
  • Switch off your electronics when they’re not in use, don’t just leave them on standby
  • Use less heating; put on an extra jumper instead

However small these changes may seem, they all add up to a more environmentally-friendly and energy-saving home which can ultimately save you money too.

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